For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. ICorinthians 1 : 17,18
The central theme of the gospel is the cross, without it there would be no salvation, no deliverance from sin and eternal judgement. The cross symbolizes death, for Jesus it meant death, to us it means life, for without the shedding of His blood we would have no eternal life.
Salvation requires an exchange, His life for yours, and your life for His, in other words we have to lay down everything at the foot of the cross and take His yoke, which is His leading by the Holy Spirit. The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. Your life is given in exchange for His, life for life in a covenant relationship. It involves a total surrender of ones life to be subjected to the control of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Walking an isle, joining a church, taking communion or being baptized does not save your soul any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger. False prophets and false shepherds have deceived millions of people into believing they are saved by praying some little magical prayer that zaps them with eternal life. Jesus requires your life to be given to Him as a sacrifice of faithful service rendered up in total devotion to Him.
When a woman marries a man, she gives up her name, her family and all her devotion becomes her husbands. She becomes his as well as he becomes hers. That's what true salvation is all about, a covenant love relationship involving the total surrender of ones life to that of another. Being a disciple of Christ means to die to your life and ambitions and take up His life and follow Him wherever He leads.
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14: 26,27
Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ or are you following something else? Only disciples have true salvation, those that have laid down their life at the foot of the cross. Don't trust in some dead ritual or your own good works to save you, only through the blood by faith will you receive life eternal.
I pray as we approach this new year that you will evaluate your spiritual life and truly be honest about where you are with Jesus, do you really know Him or are you trusting something else? Your eternal soul depends upon the decision that you make. There is salvation in nothing else, only Jesus.